“Rules” for Accents?

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#1
What are the “rules” for accent plants in traditional display? I have heard:
1. The accent gives seasonality
2. The accent contrasts the tree (e.g. flowers on an accent to compliment a non-flowering bonsai)
3. The accent is placed on the side the bonsai is directionally pointing to.
4. The accent should not be taller than the display stand for the main tree.

But I haven’t heard/read anything that explains:
1. What size should the accent be in comparison to the main tree, aprox. 1/3?
2. What are the “rules” for glazed/unglazed pots? Should they match the main tree (e.g. glazed main and glazed accent), or should they be opposite (glazed tree and unglazed accent)?
3. Should the accent be a different shape than the main tree, or the same?

Thanks!
 

Cypress187

Masterpiece
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#2
I think it also should be native for the tree, like you don't put a cactus accent next to an rain-tree (if there is such thing as a cactus accent).
 

JudyB

Queen of the Nuts
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#5
It's such a complex thing this. It's part and parcel of pairing with stands and jitas as well, it's hard to explain without visual aids. And even then... There's a good thread here somewhere about display, and elements.
I spent a good deal of time on a summer workshop trying to learn, and I'm better but still am not confident.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#7
I been viewing that Japanese Shohin Book I got...
It has been great to learn with and understand the answers to some of these questions.
As shohin displays have more learning opportunity, if we remember the "rule" differences there, since there are more objects to study.

There is Something about these professionally photographed show Books that are indispensable for display learning.
They are at the correct viewing point.
Therefore learning from them is more precise than learning from videos, amateur photos, or even live viewings.

I think the most important thing to remember....

It is much more about the negative space surrounding the accent plant, than the actual plant itself.
How the Plant divides the Negative space is where it's power comes from.
Not so much color, species,etc...

S
 
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#8
Accent plant also provides a sense of scale. A larger accent toward front of display, provides the sense of near, and the tree, on a tall stand at the very back of the display provides the far. A tiny accent near puts the whole display in the distance. Big flowers on an accent pulls the whole display sense to be closer to the viewer. Tiny flowers keep the sense of the display in the distance.

There is no requirement that the tree and the accent naturally be found in the same place. What is important is that both the form and style of the tree and the form and style of the accent are coherent in creating an image of place. So if your image is a park like field setting, then the accent should fit in the same setting. A dense forest setting the accent should be appropriate for dense forest setting. Cottage garden setting, whatever you are trying to create, Set and Setting. Accent gives sense of time and place.
 
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#9
At the last Midwest Bonsai Society show there is a video of the judging that is still in editing at this time that this question was asked.

The judge was from Japan and wanted more contrast between the accent pot and tree pot. The winning tree was a juniper in an unglazed pot with a yellow accent pot. For an example he looked at another tree and explained although the accent and tree pot were different colors they were both unglazed rectangles, and did not have enough contrast.
 
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#11
I think it’s all relative, Within japan you can see differences too in how bonsai are displayed. Fa, in Tokyo area, usually more thought is places in trying to get a good match while in hokkaido people like using flowers as accent not caring that much about good fit or not
Here are some pictures from a Hokkaido show.

B429B2ED-1BEB-402A-A5B3-930C9100B7C7.jpeg AED1B8D9-4E10-4A02-8689-714BF57D8447.jpeg CCCAFD92-2B42-4CA6-A99F-9E5DC49315BF.jpeg 78A27103-979F-402D-986D-01386189D4F6.jpeg E3EF6EF3-ADC7-4145-9A62-7CD3CAF18816.jpeg 61264B3B-D227-4B70-A13C-24C48F900EEC.jpeg
 
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Salt Lake CIty Utah
#12
[/QUOTE]But I haven’t heard/read anything that explains:
1. What size should the accent be in comparison to the main tree, aprox. 1/3?
2. What are the “rules” for glazed/unglazed pots? Should they match the main tree (e.g. glazed main and glazed accent), or should they be opposite (glazed tree and unglazed accent)?
3. Should the accent be a different shape than the main tree, or the same?

Thanks![/QUOTE]

In Gaddou, they use the formal, Semi-formal, and Informal classification of pieces. Kusamono will almost always be classified as informal. So
pots that are round or square in shape and glazed would usually fit best.
Rather than focus on shape...the accent should help provide a stop point for the flow or Nagare 流れ that the main bonsai defines.

Below is a list of seasonal plants in Japanese culture. Obviously, plants in North America will differ some...
1539492956613.png
 

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